Breed Colors and Markings of Curly-Coated Retrievers

Each breed of dog has its unique set of physical traits. 

Golden retrievers are known for their golden blonde fur and huskies are known for their long black and white fur. 

Some breeds have a variety of different looks, like how pugs can range anywhere from silver to black. 

What colors and markings do curly-coated retrievers come in?

Curly-coated retrievers are known for their black curly coats. They are one of the most distinct and unique of the retriever breeds, as well as the oldest. Their traits don’t vary much, so you will always know it when you see a curly-coated retriever. 

Curly-coated retrievers don’t vary much in their color

The typical curly-coated retriever has black fur, though sometimes it can be closer to brown. 

The brownish color is called liver, but the liver color is not as common. 

Black and liver are pretty much the only too colors that a pure curly-coated retriever can be. 

What is the Texture of a Curly-Coated Retriever Coat?

For reasons related to their history, the curly-coated retriever has tightly curled fur. It usually isn’t too soft to the touch. 

Their fur doesn’t get too long and also takes a long time to grow.

This means that you don’t need to cut or trim their fur too often

However, the curly-coated retriever isn’t fully covered with tightly curled fur. 

On their face, they have short and straight hair that allows them to see better when in the water or on the run. 

Another interesting fact about the curly-coated retriever coat is that it is only one layer. 

Many dogs have two-layered coats that help with keeping warm or keeping outside things away from their skin. 

However, curly-coated retrievers only have their top curly coat. 

This makes swimming a lot easier as it helps with waterproofing to only have the topcoat. 

Why Do Curly-Coated Retrievers Have Curly Coats?

Breed Colors and Markings of Curly Coated Retrievers 1 Breed Colors and Markings of Curly-Coated Retrievers

Curly-coated retrievers have tightly curled coats because it protects their skin from the water and sharp outdoor objects. 

In the 1860s in England, curly-coated retrievers were bred to be hunting and retrieving dogs. They would commonly retrieve waterfowl from lakes along with other sorts of birds. 

To keep their fur safe from cold water and water infections, their curly coats lock out water from getting to their skin. 

Curly-coated retrievers also love to run outdoors, and their coats allow them to do so more safely. 

The tight curls act as a shield from sticks, bushes, thorns, and many other things that could puncture through the average straight-furred coat. 

This works well as a part of their hunting quality is their ability to traverse through many kinds of terrains to get their game. 

What Else Makes Curly-Coated Retrievers Ideal Hunting Dogs?

While their coat helps them with their hunting abilities, there are many more qualities that these dogs have that make them ideal hunting dogs. 

Energy Levels

First, these dogs have an extremely high amount of energy. 

They love to run around and play, which was first used as high energy for hunting. 

Curly-coated retrievers can be active for longer periods of time than some other dog breeds. 

When they aren’t in hunting situations, they need at least 40 minutes of exercise a day, which can be easily be done through playing or taking them along on your adventures.


Another quality that makes curly-coated retrievers great at hunting is their high level of intelligence. 

These dogs are easy to train as they can learn new tricks, commands, and behaviors faster than the average dog. 

Curly-coated retrievers need plenty of mental stimulation to be happy, so training is a great way to work their brain while also making them more efficient at hunting. 

Some forms of training that help with hunting qualities include agility training, leadership training, basic commands such as fetch, and socialization training. 

With their intelligence and proper training, you will have a well-mannered and well-behaved curly-coated retriever that can handle going out on adventures without getting excited and running off. 

You can always count on them. 


These dogs are super determined. They are always up for completing and solving a challenge. 

Curly-coated retrievers want to do the best that they can when they are hunting or even just training. 

There isn’t a challenge too big or too complicated for curly-coated retrievers to figure out. 

Hunting dogs have to be determined when they want to catch their game.


Curly-coated retrievers have a large heart and so much love for their owner

This makes them super loyal to them and makes them want to impress them.

In training, curly-coated retrievers will learn faster when their owner is around because they want to impress them with what they learned to do.

In hunting, you can be sure that your curly-coated retriever will be by your side. 

They will help you with retrieving anything that you catch and will be an excellent partner. 

What is The Grooming Regimen of a Curly-Coated Retriever?

These curly coats don’t need a lot of grooming. 

The coat tends to know exactly what to do and where to grow to be in its best condition.

The only necessary grooming is trimming around the ears and feet. 

Sometimes, the curls can grow too long around the ears and be irritating, same with around the feet.

Taking a pair of scissors and trimming up around those areas can make your retriever more comfortable when moving around. 

When it comes to brushing your curly-coated retriever, it is better to not use a brush at all. 

The brush can frizz up their coat which not only looks bad but can mess with their ability to lock out water. 

When grooming your curly-coated retriever, use a grooming comb to better remove any shed hair.

Speaking of shedding, curly-coated retrievers have two shedding periods. 

This is the only time where combing is necessary as it can help speed the process along. 

Bathing should only be done once in a while. 

While it is nice to get rid of any extra dirt that may be on your dog’s coat, bathing with shampoo and other products can temporarily mess up a curly-coated retriever’s coat. 

This is because the shampoo will soften their coat, which then prevents their coat from being waterproof.

When you do bathe your curly-coated retriever, don’t let them run around harsher environments or swim in any water for a few days. 

After a few days, their coats should return to normal again.

During baths, this would be the opportune time to give them any bug treatments that they may need. 

A flea and tick bath would be good if you live in an area where they are around. 

What is the Health of a Curly-Coated Retriever?

Even though these dogs are super active, they can still be susceptible to many health problems. 

One big health problem that they can face is getting sick from outdoor bugs.

This is why it is important to see what is around in your area and to make sure your dog is prepared with treatments or specialized collars. 

Curly-coated retrievers can also face a number of other problems that are actually from being super healthy. 

Joint problems can be common in this breed, especially since many are passed down genetically. 

Hip and elbow dysplasia is something that your curly-coated retriever can eventually face.

It can cause arthritis which can sometimes be treated with medication or surgery in more severe cases.

Before being spotted, this problem can cause stiffness and pain when your retriever moves about.

Your curly-coated retriever can also have knee problems where they slip out of the socket. 

Usually, this is a temporary issue where your retriever can pop the bone back into place. However, if this begins to happen often then your retriever may need surgery.

Curly-coated retrievers can also inherit a variety of eye problems that can result in pain and even blindness

Luckily, most of the problems can be solved with surgery, but that can cost a lot of money. 

While the curly-coated retriever has straight hair on their face to prevent it from going into their eyes, hair can still grow too close and cause scratching. 

Without treatment, situations like these can lead to blindness.

Final Thoughts 

While curly-coated retrievers are very distinct in the way they look, they don’t have a lot of variety with their physical features. 

Curly-coated retrievers have a single layer of tightly curled fur that keeps their skin from outdoor underbrush and water. 

This coat of fur doesn’t require a lot of grooming other than the occasional combing, bath, and trimming. 

These dogs don’t have a lot of variety with the color of their fur, they are usually either black or liver which is a dark brown. 

They are purebred dogs, which usually don’t have a lot of physical variety. 

Curly-coated retrievers are amazing hunters for so many reasons.

Though, their hunting days can be cut short from health problems.

Either way, they make amazing companions for active families. 

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